Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SPORTS >> Bison schedule tough replacement

Leader sportswriter

Senior night at Carlisle will have the added entertainment of some new wrinkles as the Bison take on McCrory in a rare week-nine non-conference game at Fred C. Hardke Field this Friday.

Carlisle was originally scheduled to face Hughes in 6-2A Conference play, but the Blue Devils canceled their season back in August when only 10 players reported for duty. That left an opening for coach Scott Waymire to fill, and he found quite the worthy opponent in the Jaguars.

“We’re just fortunate we found someone to play,” Waymire said. “We didn’t want to have a bye week with our seniors, and we’re excited to have a chance to play this game against a good opponent.”

The Jaguars (6-2) have also been impressive in their unbeaten march through the 3-2A Conference and will take on Salem next week.

This week, they will bring the state’s leading rusher in Logan Best to give Carlisle’s defense a challenge it has yet to see this year. Best has rushed for over 1,800 yards through eight games, and has the support of a big, dominant offensive line.

“He’s a heck of a back,” Waymire said. “It’s going to be a great ballgame. You’ve got two Top-ten teams – it’s a playoff game in week nine. We want to look sharp and play well, but we’re going to have our hands full.”

There are essentially two schools of thought when presented with the prospect of having a bye in week nine. One of those being the opportunity to rest players for the season finale and playoffs, but the other, Waymire’s philosophy, is to keep your kids on the field to keep them sharp.

It is a move that proved to be good foresight on the part of Waymire considering his starting offense saw only one quarter of action in a 42-6 blowout win over Palestine-Wheatley last week.

“If you only play one quarter in two weeks, you’re going to come out flat,” Waymire said. “And the way I see it, good competition makes us better. And like I said, it’s only fair to our seniors, who have put in six years of hard work for us. They want to be out there playing.”

The Jaguars also have a dominant look up front on defense with a line that averages close to 250 pounds.

“They are massive up front,” Waymire said. “They have a Division-I kid at tackle who’s 6-4, 290, they have an inside linebacker that goes 6-2, 220. That front seven is going to be the toughest we’ve seen all year.

“They’re going to be the toughest defense we’ve faced all year. It’s going to pose a problem for our offense, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they try to overcome that.”

The game also gives the Bison a chance to show some new looks with potential playoff opponents beginning to scout.

“We’re taking this game like we did our first three non-conference games,” Waymire said. “We’re going to work on some new stuff and try to implement it. We want to give teams some different looks.

“We feel like we’re multiple on offense. Defensively, we want to do what we’ve been doing.”

Hazen will take on England in a big 6-2A matchup this week with heavy playoff implications.

If the Hornets come away from that one unscathed, it sets up a battle between unbeaten conference teams next week when Carlisle travels to Hazen.